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Taking Control of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Over the years, multifunctional photocopiers (MFPs) have become indispensable tools for efficient office printing, copying, scanning and document management. However, when considering the purchase or lease of MFPs, as with any equipment which requires power and technical support, schools, businesses and organisations are often nervous about the long-term total cost of ownership (TCO) and looking for reliable office equipment suppliers who can demonstrate the on-going reduction of TCO.

This is predominantly because many are wary of “out-of-the-blue” costs like unexpected contract exit charges, if businesses and schools change suppliers, additional maintenance and unpredicted software licence fees. Fortunately, like Copybox Document Systems, most office equipment suppliers are now more transparent and provide customers with clear choices at fixed prices.

Initial purchase price and the benefit of Leasing

The initial purchase price of an MFP is often the first consideration when looking for new office equipment. The upfront cost of an MFP, or fleet of network printers, will depend on factors such as specifications and features. It stands to reason that the more features a machine offers, the higher its Recommended Retail Price (RRP) will be at the outset. This is why leasing can be an attractive proposition, reducing the initial outlay and spreading the cost over a number of years.

Leasing from a reputable supplier can really help to manage the total cost of ownership within the customers’ budgets and provides the versatility that schools and businesses need to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and, if the lease comes to an end, reputable suppliers, such as Copybox Document Systems, will not charge an unnecessary, and often exorbitant, ‘removal’ fee.

How print auditing can help reduce TCO

When a school, business or organisation decides to change suppliers and invite a new company to provide a quote, the first thing a reputable supplier should do is carry out a full print audit to determine how much the existing equipment is currently costing and demonstrate, with factual evidence, where they can make significant savings for the customer.

The audits help to reduce TCO by highlighting current machines which are not being used to their full potential, while others might be over-used and proving unreliable or costly to run and maintain. Based on the facts, suppliers can recommend the right products for the specific needs of the business or school, ensuring that the customer isn’t overspending on unnecessary equipment or features, such as replacing a fleet of old copiers and small desktop printers with one or two MFPs that will improve workflow and productivity yet reduce the cost of maintenance, supplies and energy costs for the customer.

Managed Print Services (MPS) further reduce costs

Suppliers, such as Copybox, offer MPS solutions, where they adopt the management of the customer’s printing equipment, providing preventative maintenance, the management of supplies replacement and keeping a watchful eye on any issues, to help the machines run smoothly and efficiently. All of which helps towards reducing TCO.

Suppliers can also monitor each machine, once they are installed, and can provide regular updates to customers and suggest on-going opportunities, for further savings on their TCO, by tracking and analysing printing patterns, usage levels of consumables such as toners, drums and paper, and can pinpoint how departments or individuals are using the machines. The range of Develop MFPs are delivered with a host of free software that allows users to take control and monitor usage and enable prints to be released, through authentication. This reduces paper wastage from uncollected prints in the output tray, as well as helping to improve data security.

For advanced print management providers can recommend leading 3rd party software, such as PaperCut, which enables the enforcement of a customer’s specific print policy, with greater accuracy, by setting up ‘rules’ on each machine. These may include automatically duplexing any document, with more than one page, or set the machine to only enable staff to print in black and white but any users who need to print in colour will be provided with an access code or pass to enable colour printing.

In addition, with managed print servicing, not only will customers be kept informed about how their machines are performing but they will no longer have to buy and stock consumables, in advance, because their supplier is able to deliver toner and spare parts only when they are required – saving the customer both time, unnecessary cost and valuable storage space. 

Fixed Maintenance and Support Costs

TCO calculations often include maintenance and support costs, which can vary significantly depending on the type of machines the customer has. Maintenance costs include servicing, repairs, and the replacement of parts over the machine’s lifespan but, to ensure TCO costs are kept within budget, suppliers like Copybox provide their customers with fixed-fee service agreements, no hidden extra costs and support packages that are tailored to the specific needs of customers.

In Copybox Document Systems’ case their fixed fee service covers not only the maintenance of the machines but also includes call-outs within 3 hours, no minimum print charges, and the collection and disposal of old consumables and toner, ensuring that the device remains working hard with a minimum of downtime, there are no hidden extra costs and they are helping the customer recycle their unwanted waste. By outsourcing maintenance to experienced professionals, businesses and schools can focus on their day-to-day business while enjoying predictable costs and enhanced reliability.

Reduced Energy Consumption

Modern MFPs are designed with energy efficiency in mind. They often feature advanced power-saving modes, automatic sleep settings, low fusing temperatures and energy-efficient components. MFPs operating with lower energy consumption not only help businesses reduce their carbon footprint but also contribute to substantial cost savings over the machine’s life. Paying less for energy means it’s cheaper overall and can help businesses align with their environmental goals.

Flexibility and Adaptability

As businesses change, their printing needs naturally follow suit. MFPs offer customers with the flexibility of scale and adaptability to accommodate changes seamlessly. Whether schools and businesses expand office space, increase their document printing volume, or integrate new software solutions, MFPs can often be upgraded or reconfigured to meet these evolving requirements. This flexibility reduces the need for frequent hardware replacements, which positively impacts the TCO by extending a print device’s useful life so customers can keep their machines for longer and not keep having to upgrade unnecessarily.


From enhancing productivity and cost efficiency through to consolidating hardware, reducing energy consumption and streamlining maintenance, MFPs offer a multitude of benefits that contribute to a better managed TCO. By utilising the benefits of MFPs and working with suppliers with experience, who have their customers’ best interests at heart, schools and businesses can safely make the most of their in-house print and document management processes, improve efficiency, and ultimately achieve greater success while saving money.

About Copybox Document Systems

Based in Bedford, Copybox Document Systems is built on years of experience within the printer and photocopier industry.

The majority of our customers have been recommended to us and we’re proud of our excellent reputation for delivering an unparalleled service to our customers and going the extra mile.

Our flexible approach to printers and multi-functional photocopiers allows us to find solutions that fit perfectly into our clients’ businesses, whether they are schools, colleges, small or large businesses, throughout Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, and Hertfordshire. We’re here to help and advise. Contact us to find out more.